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Happy Labor Day Weekend! Regularly Scheduled Articles Will Resume Tuesday, September 8

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09-04

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2

Five to Watch: September Additions
by
Greg Wellemeyer

08-27

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1

Five to Watch: High-A Risers
by
Greg Wellemeyer

08-20

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4

Five to Watch: More Double-A Risers
by
Greg Wellemeyer

08-13

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3

Five to Watch: Veteran Rebounds
by
Greg Wellemeyer

07-23

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3

Five to Watch: Double-A Risers
by
Greg Wellemeyer

07-08

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11

Five to Watch: Stocks on the Rise
by
George Bissell

07-02

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1

Five to Watch: Pitcher Batted-Ball Exit Velocities
by
Greg Wellemeyer

06-25

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4

Five to Watch: Your High-A All Stars
by
Greg Wellemeyer

06-18

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3

Five to Watch: 3-2-1 Contact!, Pitcher Edition
by
Greg Wellemeyer

06-11

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4

Five to Watch: 3, 2, 1, Contact!
by
Greg Wellemeyer

06-04

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1

Five to Watch: Midwest League Hitters
by
Greg Wellemeyer

05-28

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3

Five to Watch: South Atlantic League Hitters
by
Greg Wellemeyer

03-25

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7

Five to Watch: National League Position Battles
by
Wilson Karaman

03-24

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4

Five to Watch: American League Position Battles
by
Nick Shlain

03-18

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7

Five to Watch: AL Post-Prospects
by
Wilson Karaman

03-17

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4

Five to Watch: National League Hitters
by
Nick Shlain

03-16

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2

Five to Watch: American League Starting Pitchers
by
Ben Carsley

03-12

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2

Five to Watch: National League Starting Pitchers
by
Wilson Karaman

03-11

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7

Five to Watch: American League Hitters
by
Nick Shlain

03-10

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3

Five to Watch: NL Post-Prospects
by
J.P. Breen

12-08

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1

Five to Watch: Fantasy-Relevant Winter Meetings Rumors
by
Ben Carsley

11-12

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3

Five to Watch: More Post-Hype Prospects for 2015
by
Ben Carsley

11-06

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5

Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2015
by
Craig Goldstein

03-20

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10

Five to Watch: American League Post-Prospects
by
Ben Carsley

03-19

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4

Five to Watch: National League Post-Prospects
by
Craig Goldstein

03-18

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6

Five to Watch: National League Prospects
by
Bret Sayre

03-17

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6

Five to Watch: American League Prospects
by
Wilson Karaman

03-13

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5

Five to Watch: American League Hitters
by
Wilson Karaman

03-12

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10

Five to Watch: American League Starting Pitchers
by
Craig Goldstein

03-11

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6

Five to Watch: National League Hitters
by
Mauricio Rubio

03-10

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6

Five to Watch: National League Pitchers With Elevated BABIPs
by
Craig Goldstein

09-20

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5

Five to Watch: The Save Rush
by
Craig Goldstein

09-16

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8

Five to Watch: Hot Corner Conundrums
by
Ben Carsley

09-10

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0

Five to Watch: Injured NL Starting Pitchers
by
Craig Goldstein

09-06

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7

Five to Watch: Would-Be, Could-Be Closers
by
Craig Goldstein

08-28

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0

Five to Watch: September Call-Ups Unworthy of Your Immediate Attention
by
Ben Carsley

08-27

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12

Five to Watch: Positive Regression Candidates
by
Craig Goldstein

08-21

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7

Five to Watch: Good Prospects on Bad Teams
by
Ben Carsley

08-19

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4

Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2014
by
Craig Goldstein

06-07

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10

Five to Watch: Checking in on the Holy Trinity
by
Bret Sayre

04-18

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3

Five to Watch: Contact Watch!
by
Bret Sayre

03-18

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4

Five to Watch: The Top Prospect Edition
by
Bret Sayre

03-13

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9

Five to Watch: Drawing Blanks
by
Josh Shepardson

02-22

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5

Five to Watch: National League Hitters
by
Bret Sayre

02-20

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4

Five to Watch: Impact Arms With Unclear Roles
by
Paul Sporer

02-15

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7

Five to Watch: American League Hitters
by
Bret Sayre

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March 25, 2015 6:00 am

Five to Watch: National League Position Battles

7

Wilson Karaman

The latest on a handful of competitions ongoing in senior circuit camps.

Yesterday, Nick Shlain wrote about some fantasy-relevant position battles in the American League, and today we’ll turn our attention to the senior circuit. Here are a few I’ve had my eye on.

Chicago Cubs 2B: Et Tu, Javier?

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March 24, 2015 6:00 am

Five to Watch: American League Position Battles

4

Nick Shlain

Examining a handful of competitions that are unfolding in spring training.

Tampa Bay Rays SP: Nate Karns in the rotation to start the season?

Injuries to Alex Cobb (forearm), Drew Smyly (shoulder), and Alex Colome (pneumonia) have the Rays rotation in flux. Nate Karns, a 27-year-old right-hander acquired from the Nationals prior to last season, went from battling for the fifth spot in the rotation to being locked in after these injuries. Spring training statistics can be deceiving, but Karns has had a good spring (9 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K in 13 1/3 innings) after he posted a 5.08 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 27 starts with Triple-A last season.

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March 18, 2015 6:00 am

Five to Watch: AL Post-Prospects

7

Wilson Karaman

A handful of former blue-chippers still worthy of your attention.

Since we’re deep in the thick of draft season right now I figured I’d use this space to focus solely on those non-sexy no-longer-prospect types who’ve shown some legitimate reasons for intrigue over the past twelve months. In case you’ve missed them, here are our previous articles in this series:

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March 17, 2015 6:00 am

Five to Watch: National League Hitters

4

Nick Shlain

A handful of senior-circuit bats worthy of your attention.

Kris BryantChicago Cubs

Any prospect carrying a career minor league batting line of .327/.428/.666 would have a tough time flying under the radar at spring training, but the former number two overall selection in the 2013 draft has grabbed a load of headlines after swatting six home runs in his first eight spring games. It’s not that Bryant needed to prove his power against top competition or expectations on him for this season have changed much necessarily, but it’s likely that he’ll be taken off the board even earlier in drafts after this showing. His current NFBC ADP of 107, which ranks 10th among third basemen, was already more or less commensurate with his expected value this year. While the national headlines, fantasy helium, and baseballs are flying around in Arizona, not much has actually changed in terms of Bryant’s value.

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March 16, 2015 6:00 am

Five to Watch: American League Starting Pitchers

2

Ben Carsley

A closer look at a handful of junior-circuit hurlers, including Kevin Gausman and Jesse Hahn.

In this sentence, I’m introducing the following internet fantasy baseball piece about five starting pitchers in the American League who are of personal interest to me at this moment, live from Arizona.

Kevin Gausman, BAL

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March 12, 2015 6:00 am

Five to Watch: National League Starting Pitchers

2

Wilson Karaman

A handful of senior-circuit hurlers worthy of your attention.

In case you missed it, J.P. and Nick got our “Five to Watch” series started this week with looks at NL Post-Prospects and AL Hitters. Today we turn our attention back to the bump, and in a surprising turn it actually proved tougher sledding last year to find top-tier pitching talent in the senior circuit. Twenty NL pitchers returned at least $20 of NL-only value last season, with 37 topping the $15 mark. That stacked up a little light against the AL, where 24 hit the $20 threshold and 46 topped $15. So in the interest of helping you navigate these choppier-than-expected waters, here are five NL starters who, for one reason or another, fan the flames of my heart as interesting hurlers to keep an eye on.

Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP, Dodgers

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March 11, 2015 6:00 am

Five to Watch: American League Hitters

7

Nick Shlain

A handful of junior-circuit bats worth keeping an eye on.

Austin JacksonSeattle Mariners
While Jackson wasn’t exactly lighting it up with Detroit last year (.265 TAv), his season went completely off the rails after a trade to Seattle (.195 TAv in 236 plate appearances). His walk rate has declined for three straight seasons, and his ground-ball and strikeout (25 percent) rates increased in his time with the Mariners. If there was one positive to take away from his 54 games in Seattle it was his 11 steals in 13 attempts. He stole 20 bases on the season for the first time since 2011.

Jackson’s NFBC ADP is 245, which is 59th among outfielders, and he recently was purchased for just $12 in the AL-Only expert auction league LABR. Despite his post-trade struggles, Jackson’s an established player and he didn’t simply forget how to hit all of a sudden. He’ll always be a bit of a streaky player due to his tendency to strikeout, but he’s a value considering where he’s being selected in drafts. Jackson has the potential to be solid in every category except RBI and could be an underrated source of runs as the Mariners’ leadoff man.


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March 10, 2015 6:00 am

Five to Watch: NL Post-Prospects

3

J.P. Breen

Examining a handful of senior-circuit youngsters whose initial shine has worn off.

Fantasy analysts often focus on post-hype players—guys like Brett Lawrie, who entered the league as future stars, but haven’t yet lived up to their potential. Post-prospects are the young players who no longer have rookie status and who were never highly hyped prospects. Players who may have been top-10 prospects in their respective orgs, but were never seen as program-changers like post-hype prospects.

We’re focusing on the National League today. Here are five post-prospects to watch as we cruise into fantasy draft season:

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December 8, 2014 6:00 am

Five to Watch: Fantasy-Relevant Winter Meetings Rumors

1

Ben Carsley

A look at how hypothetical moves would impact players' fantasy stocks if they come to fruition this week.

Generally, when writing on the internet, you want to produce content that is evergreen. You're also encouraged to make arguments based on facts, not rumors or conjecture. And tired tropes like "listicles" or Bill Simmons-esque breakdowns based on arbitrary differentiators are discouraged.

Let's break all the rules tonight.

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November 12, 2014 6:00 am

Five to Watch: More Post-Hype Prospects for 2015

3

Ben Carsley

Part two of a series on erstwhile prospects you shouldn't forget about heading into the coming year.

"There’s a theory I’m partial to that says we need 1,000-1,500 at-bats at the major-league level to know who a hitter really is. Given how early some prospects are being promoted these days, it’s possible we need to be even more lenient. That said, knowing when they’re going to be useful to you is as important as knowing if they’ll be useful. Below are five guys I’d work to keep, given the chance."

I had my people tell Craig Goldstein to write the introduction to this mini-series last week, and that's what he came up with. Unfortunately, it will have to serve. Send any and all complaints to Peter Gammons.

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November 6, 2014 11:44 am

Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2015

5

Craig Goldstein

The shine is off these young players, which means now might be the time for keeper league owners to invest.

Just over a year ago, I introduced myself to you by using the phrase “mound-dwelling tautonymic counterpart” in an attempt to dazzle and impress. Now you know the sandwich-loving truth, though, and despite the need to hate, you can’t help but love. I bring you back to that time in your life when things were better, before you knew me and what I’m about, only to say, I’m about to discuss the same topic.

Each offseason, keeper and dynasty owners have roster crunches to figure out. Ever the complicating factors are those players who once carried lofty ceilings but have yet to turn tools and talent into production. They’ve exceeded their rookie eligibility, meaning they can’t be stashed on a farm team, and it’s decision time. Generally, it is about weighing the option of carrying the high upside/high risk post-hype prospect, or someone with a lower ability to impact your rotation/lineup, but who is a surer thing to do so.

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March 20, 2014 6:00 am

Five to Watch: American League Post-Prospects

10

Ben Carsley

These young players have exhausted their rookie eligibility, but they retain plenty of fantasy intrigue.

As a fantasy player, prospect junkie, and wannabe scout, nothing appeals to me more than evaluating young MLB talent and seeing how players’ skills translate into big-league results. This most often comes in the form of prospect evaluation, as we're always clamoring to find the next best thing, and to find that ultimate fantasy prospect whose flaws have not yet been exposed to the world.

Yet now that I've been doing this for a while, I find that it's often post-prospects—players who've recently lost their rookie eligibility—who yield the greatest rewards in fantasy leagues. Once a player struggles or is simply mortal in the majors, he tends to fall off of fantasy radars as we collectively look to the next best things. This is a mistake, and it ignores standard developmental curves, which is why post-prospects are such a great source of surplus fantasy value year after year.

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